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Friday 21 March 2014

Park Road Kitchen - Tommi's Burger Joint - Provincial - Di Lieto

Saturday 8th March - Battersea is great. The Candlemaker, Doodle Bar, Street Kitchen, Franco Manca, Powder Keg Diplomacy, Draft House, King of Ladies Man, Galapagos Foods, Southsider Cocktail Club and more on your door step.  It just got better.

Park Road Kitchen, a new rotisserie & deli, has just opened at the end of my road on Battersea High Street.  Since it opened on 6th March (14 days ago) I have been in 6 times.  Make that 7 by the end of today.  Let's just call it thorough research.

Owner Sam Mousawi and Head Chef Santo Natoli first met at the popular Caffettino coffee shop down the road, which Santo owns with his two brothers.  Santo's parents are Sicilian and he has an extensive background as a chef. From culinary school, he went on to train with Angelo Paracucchi in Tuscany and in Paris at a 2 star Michelin restaurant. Santo then moved to London where he worked for Scott's in Mayfair, Marco Pierre White's Drones and Harrods Georgian Restaurant before becoming private chef to Harrods proprietor Mohammed Al Fayed for 3 years!

Sam (left), Santo (centre) and the team at Park Road Kitchen
Park Road Kitchen is open Tue-Sat 10am-9pm and Sunday 11am-6pm serving up rotisserie chicken with roast potatoes, and all sorts of delights at the Deli Counter.  I've worked my way through pretty much everything now, although new dishes keep turning up.  

Start with Roast Beets, Butternut Squash, Parsnip, Red Onion, Honey & Mustard Dressing and Roast Cauliflower with Toasted Almonds & Harissa - my two personal favourites so far.  Work your way over to delicious Fish Cakes, Saltimbocca, Swordfish, Meatballs, or Octopus with Peppers, Celery, Spring Onion & Smoked Paprika.

I feel a little bit special when I'm sitting on the 344 to Vauxhall eating Octopus and Roast Beets, safe in the knowledge that I have the best food on the bus by a long way.  You can sit in to eat, but everything is served in takeaway cardboard boxes.

Then there's the chicken - served in 1/4, 1/2 or Whole portions with incredibly moreish roast potatoes on the side.  They haven't gone crazy with the flavours of the chicken, it is just lightly marinaded and beautifully cooked.  There are plenty of sauces, herbs and spices available to buy to take home with you - try the little spicy green bottle if you think you can handle it!

I can't recommend Park Road Kitchen highly enough, they are making some extraordinary food in a very small space, and the service with a smile from Sam & co. is always appreciated!

Despite filling my face with beets and tentacles, I found myself eating a second lunch just over the river about 30 minutes later.  Tommi's Burger Joint had been threatening to open a second site on King's Road for about 4 months, and it finally happened a couple of weeks ago.  I popped over to meet Wilkes (read his preview post here) to take a look at their new home, not really intending to have too much to eat on this occasion.  However, once they told me that all the food was free for their launch, it would have been rude not to tuck in.

The décor is much the same as the Marylebone site. The upstairs window seats are perfect for watching the entertaining Made in Chelsea types swanning around.  There is also a spacious downstairs area, though I prefer the natural light option.

Photo Credit : Wilkes
Tommi's is run by a bonkers bunch of Icelandic folks, who were on hand to dish out some Viking beers.  Hopefully they will bring in some Einstock brews soon and perhaps some Mikeller & Evil Twin from across the Norwegian / North Sea.

The menu is simple & affordable, and the burgers are high quality fast food, which is what they want to be.  The hint of horseradish is a big plus for me, and meat lovers should order the steak burger for £8.90.  Don't miss out on their extensive range of sauces - Stokes Bloody Mary Ketchup is the one to go for.

Photo Credit : Wilkes

Photo Credit : Wilkes
A speedy 45 minute trip on the 345 took us over to Craft Beer Co in Brixton where we met up with Natalie, Chris, Zoe, Luke, Lauren, Caroline & Cath for a few pints before dinner.  I've mentioned Craft several times as it always part of my Brixton trips (much like Seven).  I was very taken with Three Friends Brewing Motueka Pale on this occasion.

For dinner, most of us made our way over to The Provincial in Market Row for some "Latin Fusion". We stood at our table for a few minutes as the resourceful waiter ran around finding chairs for us. You can BYOB but 6 tapas & 1 litre of Sangria for £30 sounded good to me and Cath.  That said, Market Row Wines is right there and has a wonderful selection of booze.

Aside from some dodgy patatas bravas and fairly uninspiring chips, the food was very good.  Chorizo cooked in wine, Romana calamari and Garlic prawns were all particularly delicious.  There are also main courses available - order the squid.  The Provincial was slightly less busy than most of its neighbours which led to a pleasant atmosphere (apart from one drunk chap) and excellent service. 

I'd just like to briefly mention my other favourite new lunch spot which I recently discovered with work colleagues.  If you find yourself near Oval, make your way over to Di Lieto Bakery & Deli on South Island Place just off Brixton Road.  

At lunch, they serve up several hot food options, mostly very generous portions of fresh pasta & meat or seafood for around £4.50.  We hardly ever have the same thing twice, and the quality is always incredibly high.  Then there's the freshly baked bread brought to your table, soup, pizzas, great coffee, and tempting pastries (we've created the Di Lieto special - Nutella shoved inside one of their fresh ring doughnuts), all served by a very entertaining bunch of Italians to very happy locals.  Seek this one out.

Last but not least, I am very excited about heading over to When Mac Met Cheese in Bayswater which opens tomorrow (Saturday March 22nd) for 3 months.  Sam is one of my favourite street food traders, and he is well known for his awesome Mac'n'Cheese and his ridiculous Deep Fried Oreos.  There will also be a bar with some banging cocktails apparently.  It will be open Wednesday-Sunday - check the poster below for exact times.

The Provincial on Urbanspoon

Tommi's Burger Joint on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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